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Reporter Notebook: In Northern Syria, the Uncertain Way Forward



There is a strange feeling in this region. People are left between war and peace, between what was before – optimism and freedom to defeat the Islamic State caliph – and the unknown from what follows as Russian, Syrian and Turkish troops move in and US troops move out.

For the moment, everything is held together by the fragile ceasefire that few Syrians here think will stick.

Russian forces are mobilized in northern Syria, not far from where we are, by air and by land – filling the US vacuum and deploying parts of the Turkish border, part of their agreement to divide the region with Turkey. Now they are demanding that all US troops leave Syria.

But in a surprising message and one that could drastically change the rapidly changing dynamic again, US officials tell Fox News that the Pentagon is looking to send armored units, including tanks, back ̵

1; allegedly to protect oil fields.

President Trump later tweeted, "It may be time for the Kurds to start targeting the oil region!"

Speaking earlier, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper rushed to Turkey: "Look, I was very frank about this. Turkey put us in a very terrible position. I think the invasion was unjustified."

He added that Turkey was "headed in the wrong direction," approaching Russia.

But Kurdish leaders, when necessary, seek Russia for protection. Gen. Mazlun Abdi, commander-in-chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), spoke with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu v ia Skype on Thursday, saying: "I would like to specifically evaluate President Putin's efforts to protect our people and stop military operations. "

THE PENTAGON" TEMPORARY "ALLOCATES THE FREE AID TO SYRIA, THE OFFICIALS SPEAK

] This came a day after he thanked 19459, thanks to 1945, for "the tireless efforts of the President who stopped brutally a Turkish assault and jihadist groups on our people. "

However, Turkish jihadists make some attacks on Thursday, clearly violating this ceasefire, drone strikes and firing. It remains to be seen whether they escalate or not, but many people here have acknowledged that this is a delicate moment.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement Thursday: "The situation is still volatile, but at least we have noticed some progress from the fact that we are seeing a decrease in violence in recent days. ”

In northern Syria, streets and shops remain empty with over 100,000 displaced people. The Kurds simply have not trusted Turkey to maintain the ceasefire and continue to seek protection wherever they find it.

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So the Kurds are waiting to see what happens next. When ISIS fell, thanks in large part to them, they looked forward to the creation of a free, democratic and liberal homeland. That hope is gone – and it is not yet clear who or what will replace it.

Fox News will be on earth as the story unfolds.


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